How To Use Genie Plus To Skip The Stand-By Entrance (And Flex On Yo Haters)

by Shaye Wyllie

From the moment Disney announced their Genie Plus service, I knew I had to have it on every trip! I’m low-key bougie, baby! And I’m a New Yawker! You want ME … to stand ON A LINE?

Lord jeezus! No! I beg! Pick somebody else to do it, ’cause I can’t.

I know the wait time in this featured photo seems calm, and you’re probably wondering, why Shaye is so friggin’ dramatic! Like who couldn’t stand on a line for 15 mins? But baby some of those stand-by entrance lines are 80 mins (or more). And I … I just can’t do it. No! I can do it, I just refuse to. Lightening Lane me baby! Beam me up (to the front) Scotty.

‘Cause why would I stand on a line … when I could just pay a few extra bucks, to skip it? And yes, Genie Plus, is gonna cost you a few more coins, per person on top of the ticket fees.

But it’s totally worth it! Especially if you use it the right way!

FYI: If you're looking to book a trip to Walt Disney World or Disneyland, I'm happy to share that I'm now a Get Away Today partner, and you can use my promo code SHAYE10 when booking through my link for $10 off your Southern California and Disneyland packages. 

Cause I know every dollar counts baby!

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Here’s How You Can Use Genie Plus To Maximize Your Disney Park Days

Please Note: If you’re just here to find out how you can use Genie Plus to flex on yo haters, scroll to the bottom of this post. I got you! For everyone else, that actually needs to learn how to use Genie Plus to maximize their park days, keep reading.

How To Use Genie Plus To Skip The Stand-By Entrance

So the first thing to know, when looking to purchase a Genie Plus add-on, to your park ticket, is that there are two separate lines for (almost) every Disney ride available:

  • the Stand-By Entrance line (and)
  • the Lightning Lane entrance line

The Disney Genie Plus service lets you use the Lightning Lane entrances at most attractions and experiences. Which means, you won’t need to wait in the Stand-By entrance line.

So to skip the stand-by entrance … one must first purchase the Genie Plus service. (You can do this in the app.) Once you’ve purchased the service, you’ll be able to reserve a time for your chosen ride. Think of this as a “ride reservation” for the VIP line.

How To Use Genie Plus To Reserve Rides And Maximize Your Time

I’ve been to both Walt Disney World and Disneyland twice so far, in the last few years, since Genie Plus was released and I’ve used Genie Plus three out of the four times!

Twice at Disneyland, and once at Walt Disney World.

I’ve never had an issue using Genie Plus*, so I don’t really understand why everyone seems a bit confused on how to use it … because to me it makes total sense.

But that’s probably because I’ve got it down to a science, and I use it to help maximize my day, not spend all day looking at my phone.

* FYI … I’ve never had an issue figuring out how to book my rides using Genie Plus in the app. But I’ve definitely booked a ride on Genie Plus, and then had that ride break down when it was my reserved time to get on. I’ll explain what happens in those situations below!

So here’s how I use Genie Plus …

Step 1: As soon as I enter the park, I stand to the side, and take a quick look at the reservation times for Genie Plus!

The app will also tell me which of my favorite rides has the smallest wait time so I can compare it to the reservation times for Genie Plus!

Here’s an example: Right now, as I’m writing this article “Toy Story Midway Mania” has a 50-minute standby wait! This is a ride I love, so I know I’m going to ride it.

The Incredicoaster (close by) only has a 10-minute wait!

Which honestly, is insane, and those wait times should probably be switched because I finally rode the Incredicoaster and it’s SO much fun. But it’s a thrill ride, and Toy Story isn’t so I can totally see why the lines are insane at Toy Story!

Anywho … if I was going to Disney’s California Adventure Park right now, using these wait times, I’d book a reservation for the Toy Story ride, not the Incredicoaster, even though both of these are popular and I HAVE to ride both.

Step 2: Using this info (above) I book my first Genie Plus ride!

Note: I only book rides with HIGH wait times (30+ mins or more) so that I can maximize my time in the parks.

Step 3: While I wait for my Genie Plus reservation, I do something else that will bring me joy.

This can include:

  • going on a different ride close by that I like (or I’ve never been on before) that has a short wait time
  • grabbing a snack or meal (depending on what time of day it is and how hungry I am)
  • watching a show or parade
  • looking for characters walking around to say hi and grab a photo
  • finding a place to sit and REST

The options are endless! But I usually use my time to do something I WANT to do.

And yes, sometimes all I really wanna do is grab a drink, or snack, and sit TF down somewhere and rest my feet! ‘Cause baby walking through the parks ALL the live long day, can be tiring! And I know we all want to ‘do the most’ at Disney, but sometimes you just need to take a seat and keep still for a few minutes.

Step 4: Once it’s time for my ride reservation, I redeem my reservation in the “Lightning Lane”.

Sometimes it’s super quick, and I can just walk up to the lane, redeem it, and get in line.

But sometimes there’s an actual line for the Genie Plus “Lightning Lane”!

Which definitely caught me off guard the first time. But I promise you it’s way shorter than the “Standby” line. So don’t be alarmed! After walking through the queue, I get to the front, redeem my Genie Plus reservation, and get on the ride.

Step 5: As soon as I get off my Genie Plus ride, I repeat steps 1-4 for another ride.

Yup, once I’ve successfully redeemed my Genie Plus reservation, I book another! And I continue to do this throughout my day, as long as reservations are available.

And that’s it!

That’s how I’ve used Genie Plus every single time, and it works! I typically ride about 6+ rides each day? (I’m usually not counting because I’m too busy having fun.) But if I’m in the park all day, it’s usually a successful trip! Plus I always have time for meals, snacks, bathroom runs, and rest. And it works for me!

I usually go home happy and content, and tired AF from a day well spent!

Will I Be On My Phone All The Live Long Day If I Use Genie Plus?

Nope! I know that’s the one thing everyone worries about when they hear that you have to use Genie Plus in the app, to reserve rides, and look at wait times.

But y’all I reserve my ride, and then put my phone away.

Okay, I actually let my friend book our rides! But it takes us like a minute or two to figure out what’s next and then, we’re walking again. When I’m with just my daughter, it doesn’t take us more than 5 minutes to decide what’s next.

It sounds like a really long process, but it happens really quickly.

One way to use your phone less, if you’re using Genie Plus …

Is to have a plan ahead of time!

If you already know what rides are your priority, it makes it easier to scan the app, see what’s available, and then pick something quickly.

And if you’re new to the Disney Parks …

Guess what?! That means you have NO clue where anything is, and you’ll probably have your phone out anyway! The map is a great way to figure out where you’re going if you’re looking for something particular. But you can also use the app to order quick service meals without standing in those crazy lines! So either way, you’ll need your phone and the app makes things so much easier.

Using Genie Plus At Disneyland Vs Walt Disney World

Honestly, it’s the same process for me, no matter what park I’m in! I just use the correct app to check out wait times and see what’s available in Genie Plus. I’m not trying to do a thousand things in one day, because I know I’ll be back again. So there’s really no reason to freak out. I take it one ride at a time! If a ride is broken, or unavailable, I pick another! No biggie.

How To Redeem Genie Plus Rides Without A Magic Band

Now once you’ve purchased your Genie Plus service, there are a few ways to ‘redeem’ your reservations.

You can use:

  • a magic band
  • your phone
  • your Apple Watch (OR)
  • a physical card

They all work the same way, but I’ve never actually used my Apple Watch before. Simply because, using a card, or my phone is way too easy to worry about my Apple Watch.

You don’t NEED to purchase a Magic Band if you don’t want to!

They’re cute, but they are pricey! During my very first trip to Disneyland with my daughter, I bought her one to use, and I opted out of getting one for myself.

It was nice that my daughter had access to check herself into her rides, right on her wrist, without the risk of losing a physical card she would have to keep in her hand or pocket. But it’s not necessary for an adult. But it all depends on what YOU prefer.

To redeem without using a Magic Band …

All you have to do is tap your physical (or digital) card (on your phone, magic band, or Apple Watch) at the scanners at the Lightening Lane entrance.

Once it turns green, you’re good to go!

Sometimes, a cast member will physically scan your card with a scanner themselves.

Can I Use Genie Plus With Park Hopper?

Of course! I’ve used it twice already, but I tend to just reserve a ride for the park that I’m currently in. Unless, I know I’ll be heading to another park shortly! I’m not walking (or riding) back and forth throughout the day, like a mad woman! I walk through one park, ride all the things I’d like to do there, then switch over to another park!

How To Genie Plus When You’re With A Group

If you’re with a group of family or friends, you can connect everyone in your group on your “Family & Friends list” in the My Disney Experience app to make selections for your group all at once. Once everyone is connected, you’ll be able to make reservations for the entire group! Versus having everyone try to book the same ride at the same time, and scanning each pass separately at the entrance.

Anytime I’m with friends, I let one friend group us all in their phone, and then they’re in charge of booking reservations, and scanning us in at the entrance.

When I’m with my daughter, since it’s just the two of us, and she loves doing things on her own, I keep us separate, and let her swipe herself in!

Is Disney’s Genie Plus Worth The Price?

Heck yeah! I mean, I think so!

I do think the price on top of a regular park ticket, is insane, but I told y’all I’m low-key bougie! I’ll pay for convenience every time … that I have the extra funds to do so.

How much does Genie Plus cost at Disneyland?

So at Disneyland, the starting price for the Genie Plus service is $30 per ticket, per day.

Which almost made me stay home during my last visit. Because what! Why is it so freaking high! And that’s per person, for every day!

And apparently that’s just the starting price? Whew chile!

How much does Genie Plus cost at Walt Disney World?

At Walt Disney World, the prices vary depending on which park you’re visiting. When I looked to write this post, prices started at $16 per person, for one park, with Animal Kingdom being the cheapest and Magic Kingdom being the most expensive. For those who are visiting multiple parks in one day, it’s $25 if you have a park hopper.

So the prices totally vary at WDW, but I guess it makes sense since there’s less rides at Animal Kingdom than Magic Kingdom.

I almost always have a park hopper ticket, so I usually end up paying the heaviest price.

But again, to me … Genie Plus is totally worth it!

I like not standing in long lines*, and especially not standing in long lines under the hot sun!

* Of course sometimes the Lightning Lane for really popular rides *cough* Guardians Cosmic Rewind *cough* can still feel like a really long wait! But I’m always comforted knowing that, if I’m waiting this long in the “fast lane”, then I can only imagine how others feel in standby.

How to Purchase Disney Genie Plus Service

You can purchase the Genie Plus service when you buy your tickets OR you can buy your ticket in advance, and then purchase the add-on service day of.

Purchasing Genie Plus with your ticket, will be a quick and easy add on service, that’s self explanatory. However, purchasing day of, is a little more tricky?

So here are the steps …

  1. Check the My Disney Experience app for pricing on the day of your park visit. Prices vary by park and by date.
  2. From the main menu in the My Disney Experience mobile app, select “Tip Board”.
  3. From the Tip Board, select “Purchase for Today” next to the Disney Genie+ service icon.
  4. You can purchase Disney Genie+ service by selecting the theme park you are planning to visit that day or selecting the “Multiple Parks” option if you’re planning to visit more than one theme park and you have a ticket or pass that includes a Park Hopper.

Can You Use Disney’s Genie Plus On Every Ride?

Nope! And before you yell at me, you won’t WANT to use it on every ride either. Some almost never have a long wait time, and there’s really no need for Genie Plus. And others, are SO popular, or new, that they require a separate Lightning Lane ticket purchase. *barf* I know! It is what it is though, and yes those extra expenses are worth it!

Use Genie Plus To Reserve These Rides In Magic Kingdom At Walt Disney World

Magic Kingdom Lightning Lane Entrances (Included With Genie Plus)
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
  • Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade
  • Dumbo the Flying Elephant
  • Enchanted Tales with Belle
  • Haunted Mansion
  • “it’s a small world”
  • Jungle Cruise
  • Mad Tea Party
  • Meet Ariel at Her Grotto
  • Meet Cinderella and a Visiting Princess at Princess Fairytale Hall
  • Meet Mickey at Town Square Theater
  • Meet Princess Tiana and a Visiting Princess at Princess Fairytale Hall
  • Mickey’s PhilharMagic
  • Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor
  • Peter Pan’s Flight
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Space Mountain
  • The Barnstormer
  • The Magic Carpets of Aladdin
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
  • Tomorrowland Speedway
  • Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid
Magic Kingdom Lightning Lane Entrances for Individual Purchase (Not Offered With Genie Plus)
  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
  • TRON Lightcycle / Run

Use Genie Plus To Reserve These Rides In Hollywood Studios At Walt Disney World

Hollywood Studios Lightning Lane Entrances (Included With Genie Plus)
  • Alien Swirling Saucers
  • Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage
  • Disney Junior Play & Dance!
  • For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration
  • Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular
  • Meet Olaf at Celebrity Spotlight
  • Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway
  • Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
  • Muppet*Vision 3D
  • Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith
  • Slinky Dog Dash
  • Star Tours – The Adventures Continue
  • The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror™
  • Toy Story Mania!
Hollywood Studios Lightning Lane Entrances for Individual Purchase (Not Offered With Genie Plus)
  • Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance

Use Genie Plus To Reserve These Rides In Epcot At Walt Disney World

Epcot Lightning Lane Entrances (Included With Genie Plus)
  • Disney and Pixar Short Film Festival
  • Frozen Ever After
  • Journey into Imagination with Figment
  • Living with the Land
  • Mission: SPACE – Green
  • Mission: SPACE – Orange
  • Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure
  • Soarin’ Around the World
  • Spaceship Earth
  • Test Track
  • The Seas with Nemo & Friends
  • Turtle Talk with Crush
Epcot Lightning Lane Entrances for Individual Purchase (Not Offered With Genie Plus)

Use Genie Plus To Reserve These Rides In Animal Kingdom At Walt Disney World

Animal Kingdom Lightning Lane Entrances (Included With Genie Plus)
  • Festival of the Lion King
  • Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain
  • Feathered Friends in Flight!
  • Finding Nemo: The Big Blue… and Beyond!
  • It’s Tough to Be a Bug!
  • Kali River Rapids
  • Kilimanjaro Safaris
  • Meet Favorite Disney Pals at Adventurers Outpost
  • Naʻvi River Journey
  • The Animation Experience at Conservation Station
Animal Kingdom Lightning Lane Entrances for Individual Purchase (Not Offered With Genie Plus)
  • Avatar Flight of Passage

Bonus: Things We Forget Disney’s Genie Plus Can Also Do

Additional Genie Plus features:

  • Receive digital downloads of select Disney PhotoPass attraction images taken in the park
  • Unlock a special collection of Disney-themed PhotoPass Lenses with your phone 
  • Listen to Audio Tales during your visit to discover fun facts and BTS insights

I honestly forget that I get photos for free with my Genie Plus, because they just magically appear in my account, and I don’t give it a second thought. However, I didn’t even know about Audio Tales until today! So I’m gonna have to give that a listen one day.

The PhotoPass Lenses are cute, and are basically Disney filters for your photos! But ain’t nobody got time for that in the parks! Okay, yes … we do, while you’re standing on line. But I’m usually too busy talking, or snacking, to remember to take photos in line!

Bonus: Genie Plus Issues + Cons

Now I wouldn’t be me, if I didn’t give y’all the complete story, positives and negatives, and the honest truth … so I will say, as much as I love Genie Plus, it’s not perfect!

  • Sometimes the rides break down.
  • Sometimes there are no reservations available in the app for the ride you want.
  • Sometimes reservations for the ride you want is more than two hours away.
  • Plus, you can only reserve each ride available once per day.
  • And reservacations can only be made one at a time. 
  • Plus, as you learned above not ALL rides are offered via the Disney Genie Plus service.

But the pros, out weigh the cons!

And if your ride breaks down after you redeem your reservation, or right before you’re scheduled to get on a ride — the cast members will give you the reservation back! It doesn’t go to waste. And you can use it any time that day once the ride is back up.

But baby, once those reservations are gone for the day, they’re gone!

So be sure to book the ones you REALLY want first, and early during the day. Just in case something happens later on down the line.

I’ve had rides break down right before I was gonna get on, and I’ve had rides book out before I could reserve them. It’s a little disheartening, but there’s so much to do at the Disney Parks that sometimes it’s not that big of a deal! Plus you can always visit again, baby!

The parks is NOT a one time thing! Not for me at least.

How To Use Genie Plus To Flex On Yo Haters

Now if you’ve made it all the way to the end, congrats baby! You now know how to use Genie Plus to maxmize your day in the parks! And if something was unclear, feel free to comment below and ask all the questions you need!

And for those of you who are just looking to ‘flex on yo haters’ … welcome to the party.

This section is technically a joke, but I’m not gonna lie to you. It does feel GREAT when you scan in to a Lightning Lane and walk past everyone on the standby line! Because yup, you’ll see everyone else on the long line, as you walk on by. It’s giving VIP baby!

And as a ‘press brat’ I’ve become so accustomed to the lavish life, often having shorter lines, or seats right in the front for free — that I just can’t do life any other way.

So any chance I get to flex, I flex. I’m kidding, but you get my point! I like convenience and that’s really what the Genie Plus service is. Convenient! So I’m gon’ get it every time!

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